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Pilgrim’s Progress

Michael Davie, 4 December 1980

The Letters of Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Mark Amory.
Weidenfeld, 664 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77657 6
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... early years of the century proudly built himself a pebble-dash villa between Hampstead and Golders Green, where Evelyn was brought up. Evelyn’s older brother, Alec, the indefatigable popular novelist, now 82 and living in Tangier, has always regarded his background with pride, and his parents with affection – as may be learned from his numerous ...

Comprehending Gaddis

D.A.N. Jones, 6 March 1986

The Recognitions 
by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 956 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 007768 5
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JR 
by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 726 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 008039 2
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Carpenter’s Gothic 
by William Gaddis.
Deutsch, 262 pp., £8.95, February 1986, 0 233 97932 8
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... understanding a French notice by his hotel window in Paris: he opens the window and the facade of Henry’s Hotel collapses. Earlier in the book, we have come across some smart-ass visitors at a Greenwich Village party misunderstanding one another’s use of Greco-Latin words. ‘Philogyny? I thought you said phylogeny.’ ‘I said, misogyny recapitulates ...

Grass Green Stockings

Eleanor Hubbard: A Spinster’s Accounts, 21 March 2013

The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys, Spinster of Hereford, 1638-48 
edited by Judith Spicksley.
Oxford, 413 pp., £90, March 2012, 978 0 19 726432 4
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... to see children dressed in bright colours, and later gave Beatrice gowns of scarlet, orange and green. As well as gifts to peers and dependants Jeffreys also made regular if not especially generous charitable donations: she paid eight shillings a year for the poor of her parish, All Saints, Hereford, fulfilling her obligation under the Poor Laws. Parish ...

Bringing it home to Uncle Willie

Frank Kermode, 6 May 1982

Joseph Conrad: A Biography 
by Roger Tennant.
Sheldon Press, 276 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 85969 358 9
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Edward Garnett: A Life in Literature 
by George Jefferson.
Cape, 350 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 224 01488 9
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The Edwardian Novelists 
by John Batchelor.
Duckworth, 251 pp., £18, February 1982, 0 7156 1109 7
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The Uses of Obscurity: The Fiction of Early Modernism 
by Allon White.
Routledge, 190 pp., £12, August 1981, 0 7100 0751 5
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... Hudson in the early years of the century, and, a generation later, counsellor to the 24-year-old Henry Green, who rewrote Blindness in accordance with Garnett’s advice, and many years later attributed to his adviser ‘almost any original idea’ he had gained about how to write novels. Yet it would be misleading to think of Garnett as the natural ...
The ego is always at the wheel 
by Delmore Schwartz.
Carcanet, 146 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 85635 702 2
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A Nest of Ninnies 
by John Ashbery and James Schuyler.
Carcanet, 191 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 85635 699 9
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... a name exotic or absurd, half old-time Jewish and half Hollywood – Shenandoah Fish, Hershey Green, Cornelius Schmidt. In his best verse play, Shenandoah, he even features himself looking back on his own naming ceremony twenty-five years earlier. When his mother, Elsie Fish, decides on Shenandoah, he breaks out Macbeth-like: Now it is done and quickly ...

Flings

Rosemary Hill: The Writers’ Blitz, 21 February 2013

The Love-Charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War 
by Lara Feigel.
Bloomsbury, 519 pp., £25, January 2013, 978 1 4088 3044 4
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... unravels the tangled web, concentrating on the experiences of six novelists: Bowen, Graham Greene, Henry Yorke (who wrote as Henry Green), Rose Macaulay, Rosamond Lehmann and the Austrian émigrée Hilde Spiel. The combination of danger and novelty made the times ‘an absolute gift to the writer’, as Yorke put it to ...

Why the Green Revolution failed

John Naughton, 18 December 1980

Seeds of Plenty, Seeds of Want 
by Andrew Pearse.
Oxford, 262 pp., £7.50, August 1980, 0 19 877150 9
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Food First 
by Francis Moore Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins.
Souvenir, 416 pp., £8.95, July 1980, 0 285 64896 9
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... predator. This little tale about the consequences of ignoring systemic interconnectedness – what Henry Kissinger used to call ‘linkage’ – is laughably simple. Yet it is acted out every year in countless vegetable plots and allotments all over the country. It is also acted out on a much larger scale, and with much more serious consequences, all over the ...

Ivy’s Feelings

Gabriele Annan, 1 March 1984

The Exile: A Life of Ivy Litvinov 
by John Carswell.
Faber, 216 pp., £10.95, November 1983, 0 571 13135 2
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... of passing on her heritage – her knowledge of Richardson, Fielding, Jane Austen, Trollope and Henry James. Apart from Henry Green, Graham Greene and Adrian Bell, it seems that she hadn’t much use for contemporary authors. She was addicted to Scrabble and ‘Words from a word’, which she played with herself on ...

Superior Persons

E.S. Turner, 6 February 1986

Travels with a Superior Person 
by Lord Curzon, edited by Peter King.
Sidgwick, 191 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 283 99294 8
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The Ladies of Castlebrae 
by A. Whigham Price.
Alan Sutton, 242 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 228 1
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Lizzie: A Victorian Lady’s Amazon Adventure 
by Tony Morrison, Anne Brown and Ann Rose.
BBC, 160 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 0 563 20424 9
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Miss Fane in India 
by [author], edited by John Pemble.
Alan Sutton, 246 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 240 0
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Explorers Extraordinary 
by John Keay.
Murray/BBC Publications, 195 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 7195 4249 9
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A Visit to Germany, Italy and Malta 1840-41 
by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Grace Thornton.
Peter Owen, 182 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 7206 0636 5
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The Irish Sketch-Book 1842 
by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Blackstaff, 368 pp., £9.95, December 1985, 0 85640 340 7
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Mr Rowlandson’s England 
by Robert Southey, edited by John Steel.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 202 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 907462 77 4
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... coxcombs and humbugs of travel, or pretended travel. The best-known is Louis de Rougemont, alias Henry Green, who fooled the Wide World magazine in 1898 with his nonsense about cannibals in Australia. In much the same class was his contemporary, A. Henry Savage Landor, grandson of the poet. As a boy he half-hanged ...

Such Little Trousers

Lavinia Greenlaw: Pamela Hansford Johnson, 21 March 2019

This Bed Thy Centre 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 288 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7985 6
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An Impossible Marriage 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7980 1
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The Last Resort 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7994 8
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The Holiday Friend 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7987 0
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... people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves. There is something of another contemporary, Henry Green, in Johnson’s invigorating harshness. As Elsie passes on her way to school, Parsons ‘gave her a sidelong glance, sniffing up the hairs in his nose. Sidey little runt, he thought.’ Elsie, abruptly adolescent, is in love with her art ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... true, and in this she is following a tradition that runs from Djuna Barnes and Joyce, say, through Henry Green and Beckett and Robbe-Grillet to Burroughs and Christine Brooke-Rose. The dust jacket flaps of novels published by Calder and Boyars between 1966 and 1972 list their books under the varying heads of ‘Contemporary ...

All he does is write his novel

Christian Lorentzen: Updike, 4 June 2014

Updike 
by Adam Begley.
Harper, 558 pp., £25, April 2014, 978 0 06 189645 3
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... sound very funny today: ‘Happy birthday, Tu Yu’ etc.) His new lodestars were Proust and Henry Green. In the month after he graduated, the New Yorker accepted a handful of his light verse as well as a short story, and offered him a job on his return from England. He spent 19 months reporting Talk of the Town pieces, then quit the city, with Mary ...

Attercliffe

Nicholas Spice, 17 May 1984

Present Times 
by David Storey.
Cape, 270 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 224 02188 5
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The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle 
edited by Douglas Jefferson and Graham Martin.
Open University, 296 pp., £15, December 1982, 9780335101818
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The Hawthorn Goddess 
by Glyn Hughes.
Chatto, 232 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7011 2818 6
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... latter, I particularly liked the essay by Alistair Stead on the art of naming in the fiction of Henry Green. Glyn Hughes’s creative personality contrasts sharply with David Storey’s. Where Storey draws his imaginative sustenance from what’s under his nose, and achieves his subtlest effects through a notation of the banal which salvages our most ...

Larceny

Adam Mars-Jones, 24 March 1994

The Fermata 
by Nicholson Baker.
Chatto, 305 pp., £14.99, January 1994, 0 7011 5999 5
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... of excellences, Baker singled out his celebratory precision. John Updike’s own father-figure was Henry Green. What he sought to emulate, however, was not just Green’s idiosyncratic lyricism but a social attentiveness, and a glancing access to characters’ interior spaces. The Updike whom Baker loves is a diminished ...

Making sentences

Philip Horne, 21 November 1991

The Jameses: A Family Narrative 
by R.W.B. Lewis.
Deutsch, 696 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 233 98748 7
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Meaning in Henry James 
by Millicent Bell.
Harvard, 384 pp., £35.95, October 1991, 9780674557628
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... the family’s relations and texts, soon after his death, by Leon Edel in his multi-volume life of Henry James. As a Harvard professor, Matthiessen had been, under the terms laid down by the James estate, one of the very few permitted to use the huge family archive in the Houghton Library: in effect, as a Jamesian, the only permitted person at the time other ...

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